In a recent German interview with Die Welt, the Reds Joël Matip took a break from his well-earned rest on the island of Mykonos to reflect on this year’s success and reveal his goals for the upcoming season.
“I do not want to know how it would have been if we had lost the final,” he honestly admitted.
“That would have been tough because it hurt quite a bit that we did not win the English championship after such a strong season. The Champions League title is also a kind of confirmation.”
Of Klopp, Matip said, “He is the core character, the basis for everything that happens in the club. he sets the direction. It is not just about the emotional [aspect] but also the sporting [aspect]. He has a clear plan for everything we do.”
When asked what his sporting goals for the future entail, Matip replied: “The Champions League win was nice. But last season, I felt what it would mean for Liverpool fans to win the Premier League.
“That’s why I would like to do that. We will work on it.
No doubt this is exactly what Reds fans want to hear, as Matip and his teammates set out to end the 30-year wait this season.
The 27-year-old turns 28 in August, but has yet to extend his current contract at Anfield. That said, the Bosman arrival of 2016 has left the door open for the signing of fresh terms in an admission to Bild.
Matip was registered Divock Origi’s assist in the Champions League final, and repeated the feat in the Reds’ first pre-season game against Tranmere Rovers on Thursday night.
Some were doubtful that Matip would be able to step up and effectively partner Virgil van Dijk in the absence of both Joe Gomez and Dejan Lovren, but he has proved his detractors emphatically wrong.
“I never had the feeling of having to prove something to others,” he declared. “I have believed in myself for years and have great confidence in myself and my abilities.”
The former Schalke centre-back arrived at Anfield to little fanfare, and, until this season, had not necessarily been thought of as quality, first-choice material for a Champions League final.
His performances in the 2018/19 campaign, however, will see him offer stiff competition to Gomez who is presumably Klopp’s main man to partner Van Dijk.
Either way, in the battle for the Premier League – the warcry for which Matip has now blared out – the Reds will need everyone to pull together over the course of the season to bring it back to Liverpool.